Confirming what many in Manhattan media circles have long known, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper Monday finally declared that "I'm gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn't be any more happy, comfortable with myself and proud."
Cooper, 45, made his comments in a letter to Daily Beast blogger Andrew Sullivan, who had asked him to address a recent Entertainment Weekly cover story on gay celebrities. Either taking that as a dare or open invitation -- Sullivan didn't say which -- Cooper then explained why he had so long kept his sexual orientation private, writing:
"Since I started as a reporter in war zones 20 years ago, I've often found myself in some very dangerous places. For my safety and the safety of those I work with, I try to blend in as much as possible, and prefer to stick to my job of telling other people's stories, and not my own.
"I have found that sometimes the less an interview subject knows about me, the better I can safely and effectively do my job as a journalist."
But, he added, "It's become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something -- something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true."
Cooper was unavailable for further comment. A CNN spokeswoman said via email: "Anderson is out of the country on assignment for '60 Minutes.' His response to Andrew Sullivan's question speaks for itself."